The Charlotte News

Thursday, November 2, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President's guard had been increased following the assassination attempt the prior day outside Blair House, the temporary residence of the First Family during renovations of the White House. Pedestrians for the first time were prevented from walking by the residence. The Secret Service, meanwhile, was investigating whether others might have been involved in the attempt by the pair of Puerto Rican Nationalists, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, the latter having been killed in the attack.

White House police officer Leslie Coffelt had died the previous night from wounds received during the attack and Mr. Collazo was charged with his murder.

In New York, where the pair had lived, Mr. Collazo's wife was charged with conspiracy and jailed.

In Puerto Rico, Pedro Albizu Campos, the leader of the Nationalists, was routed out of his residence by tear gas after two letters from him were discovered on the two attempted assassins. Puerto Rican authorities also took into custody other Nationalists, including the brother of Mr. Torresola. The roundup had been transpiring prior to the assassination attempt because of the violent Nationalist revolt earlier in the week, in protest of the November 4 vote on a new constitution, opposed by the Nationalists. Members of the Communist Party and its leaders were also rounded up. Some 600 in all were to be brought into custody, half within the San Juan area. Before noon, 130 had been detained.

Mr. Collazo had been moved to a different hospital in Washington, to Gallinger from emergency hospital. He had been shot in the chest by White House guards, but was reported by attending physicians to be in good condition. He had been carried from a side entrance on a stretcher to an ambulance at the rear of the building, with only his head visible.

Robert Eunson reports that Mrs. Collazo had said: "Why should I be sorry? We are both members of the Nationalist Party." He goes on to tell some of the history of the island, how, through the Spanish-American War, it came to be a territory of the U.S. in 1898 by cession from Spain. The Nationalist Party wanted independence from the U.S. and self-rule.

They take after the States' Rightists down in Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas.

On March 1, 1954, three more Puerto Rican Nationalists would open fire in the House of Representatives, wounding five Congressmen, one seriously.

In Korea, American cavalrymen gave up this night a day-long effort to rescue 5,000 members of the U.S. First Cavalry Division, a third of its number, surrounded by Communist forces in the northwest sector near Unsan, 66 miles north of Pyongyang, and the trapped forces were ordered to attempt a breakout on their own. Four South Korean divisions had also been forced back in the area and some forces were also cut off, while others made small gains. The Communists had turned captured U.S. guns on the surrounded men, some of whom had escaped before the trap had been shut the prior night by overwhelming numerical superiority. The escapees said that there were many Chinese among the enemy forces, that they fought crazily, standing up laughing as they were shot by the hundreds, as more continued to charge. The method of fighting was a flashback to World II Japanese banzai charges. A Chinese prisoner said that there were 3,000 Chinese soldiers.

Correspondent Tom Lambert reported that the escapees were regrouping in a manner reminiscent of the early days of the war when the North Koreans were battering U.S. forces south of Seoul. The presence of the Chinese Communists in the fight was being viewed by American troops with dismay as only days before they had rejoiced in the belief that they would be home for Christmas, having occupied North Korea, with only isolated pockets of bypassed resistance being encountered in mop-up operations.

The Defense Department disclosed that the total American casualties had now reached 27,610, an increase of 909 over the previous week. Of those, 4,403 had died and 18,879 had been wounded, with 4,430 reported missing, of whom 3,771 were still missing. The Army suffered 23,937 of the casualties, and the Marines were next with 3,142. Not all casualties which had occurred to date were included, as a time lag was necessary for notification of kin.

Russia charged before the 13-member Far Eastern Commission that the U.S. had used Japanese soldiers in the Korean fight, joining North Korea in the same charge. The Soviets demanded that the Commission find it to be a violation of the Potsdam declaration and of the Big Four policy of maintaining Japan disarmed.

The 1950 census showed that the U.S. had a population of 150,697,361, an increase of nineteen million over 1940, the greatest gain in the nation's history at 14.5 percent. Seven states would gain at least one Representative in the House and nine would lose seats. California would gain seven seats, Florida would gain two, and the remaining five, one each. Pennsylvania would lose three and Missouri, New York, and Oklahoma would each lose two, with the other five losing one.

North Carolina's population had reached 4,061,929, an increase of 490,000 over 1940, the same percentage increase from the prior decade. South Carolina came in at 2,111,027, 217,000 more than in 1940, a two percent increase over the growth rate of the prior decade.

On the editorial page, "Vote 'For' Five Times" favors five proposed amendments to the State Constitution on the ballot the following week. All had been approved by the 1949 Legislature. It summarizes each one. The first would allow defendants in non-capital cases to waive indictment by a grand jury, whereas presently indictments were required in all felony cases, consuming a great deal of time. The second would secure and safeguard the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System. The third would provide for limited necessary compensation for members of the General Assembly, so that they would be paid for extra sessions up to $15 per diem not exceeding 90 days. The fourth amendment would allow the General Assembly to prescribe the number of Superior Court judges in each judicial district. The fifth would transfer to the Chief Justice the authority exercised by the Governor to assign judges and call special terms of court, and empower the Legislature to define the jurisdiction of the special judges.

"The Kremlin Gets Its Come-Uppance" finds the successful effort by the U.N. General Assembly to elect Trygve Lie to a new three-year term as Secretary-General, over the veto in the Security Council by Russia, to have been passage of a major test, influencing the independence of the Secretary-General into the future. It provides the background leading to the vote and finds it would strengthen the entire U.N. structure, weakening Soviet obstructionism.

"Frank Sims' Reappointment" praises the appointment of Frank Sims of Charlotte to a new three-year term as the head of the Mecklenburg County ABC Board. He had performed well in the initial period following the county voting in 1947 to authorize controlled sales of alcohol, with the ABC stores having been operated quietly and appropriately, with rigid efficiency, and the crack law enforcement agency of ABC having established a good record of assuring that only licensed, tax-paid alcohol was sold in the county.

Bill Sharpe, in his weekly "Turpentine Drippings", snippets from newspapers across the state, provides one from Beatrice Cobb of the Morganton News-Herald, who, distinguishing murder mysteries, finds people loving a mystery and so wants the mystery of the Brown Mountain lights left unresolved. For one thing, she says, it had been a nice tourist attraction for Burke County.

It's just the will o' the wisp.

Roy Thompson of the Winston-Salem Journal tells of extermination of the Carolina parakeet during the 19th Century and importation of the Australian parakeet in the 20th. Captain John Smith was the first literate man to observe the Carolina parakeet, finding that in winter, there were "great plenty of parrats". They were considered pests by the colonists as they would eat the seed. Thus, the colonials shot and ate them until they had become scarce by 1832, the last example having been recorded in 1906, at which time importing of the Australian variety came into vogue. They were presently expensive and made parlor pets.

We once had a parakeet, a blue one. It was named "Tweetie". Tweetie died of pneumonia on top of the refrigerator. We buried Tweetie in a little soap box, next to the back stoop, back in '59.

The Wadesboro Messenger and Intelligencer tells of a method to rid gardens of slugs and snails by placing amid the flora a saucer of beer, which would attract the creatures to their death by drowning in a drunken stupor.

The Charleston News & Courier remarks that the majority of South Carolinians were opposed to the "swift, certain and adequate punishment of criminals." It does not state, however, whether it approved or disapproved of the stance.

And so more, more, and on.

Drew Pearson, in Cleveland, discusses the Ohio Senate race between incumbent Senator Taft and the colorless State Auditor, Joe Ferguson. The real issue was whether the Republican Party was to become once more the progressive party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, or whether it would relapse to the isolationism and protectionism of McKinley and Hoover. The fact that the issue was not well-defined was in part the result of the President's advisers originally wanting Senator Taft to win, as he would be easier to beat in 1952 than General Eisenhower. But the White House had failed to grasp the issue that the more progressive Republicans, as Senators Vandenberg, Morse, Aiken, Tobey, and Margaret Chase Smith, had understood, that the GOP could not retreat to isolationism, that it had to progress.

Senator Vandenberg had once said of Senator Taft in 1947 that he was so headstrong that he carried the McCarthys, the Malones, the Jenners and the Kems right along with him, forming a "pack of isolationist jackals" plotting relentlessly against Senator Vandenberg and the Marshall Plan. But because Senator Vandenberg was now old and sick, he no longer sought to do battle against this group, who, while going about decrying Communists in the Government, voted along the same lines as leftist Vito Marcantonio, considered the voice of pro-Communism in the House.

In Indiana, the issue was not Communism but a contest between the President and Senator Homer Capehart, as the GOP had wisely soft-peddled the Communist issue because the opponent, Alex Campbell, had, as assistant Attorney General, ordered the prosecution of Alger Hiss and the 12 American Communist Party leaders.

In California, where Congressman Richard Nixon was running for the Senate, the GOP strategists had stressed the Communist issue against his opponent, Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas. Mr. Nixon, as a member of HUAC, had hounded Mr. Hiss and even testified against him before the Grand Jury, obscuring effectively Mr. Nixon's simpatico votes with Mr. Marcantonio on such key issues as aid to Korea prior to the war, and military aid to NATO, voting against both.

In Ohio, Senator Taft's votes with Mr. Marcantonio were obscured by the Taft-Hartley issue and his private encouragement of Senator McCarthy's spy hunt at a time when he was admitting to other Republicans that he did not believe Senator McCarthy had anything. Not quite forgotten was Senator Taft's attack on General Marshall when he was appointed Secretary of Defense recently, hurting Mr. Taft with the public. Mr. Pearson views this attack as emergence of the "real Taft", who believed that there could be no bipartisan foreign policy, that isolationism should be the foundation of the party.

At a writers' dinner shortly before the outbreak of the war in Korea, Senator Taft was asked by Barnet Nover of the Denver Post whether he believed the U.S. would be better off fighting Russia without allies and he had answered affirmatively. Shortly thereafter, following the start of the war, he reversed himself and urged allies to join the effort to defeat North Korea. But his energy for isolationism led that wing of the party, causing the basic issue in Ohio to be whether the GOP would become more isolationist or more progressive into the future.

He relates of the strict secrecy surrounding the Washington meeting of the twelve NATO defense ministers and military chiefs of staff, including sweeps by the FBI for bugs and an armed guard set up by a hundred M.P.'s.

Marquis Childs, in Cairo, tells of Egypt being subject to extreme censorship of the press, both of incoming and outgoing stories. The result was gossip, sometimes of an extreme and fantastical nature. Such had helped to stimulate a petition against King Farouk, presented by the opposition parties, warning of the danger of revolt and that certain palace advisers were under suspicion in an investigation of an armaments scandal arising out of the war with Israel. The Government instructed the newspapers not to print the petition and they complied, but did present, anomalously, the Government's reply the next day to a non-published petition.

The King depended on two factors, a loyal army which he appeared to have, and the peasant farmers, who were operating under the same abject conditions which they had for centuries.

Education was being expanded in the country and from it, ironically, could come the seeds of revolt. A growing number of professional men were unable to find opportunities within the developing middle class, producing considerable resentment, even spreading to the younger officers within the army.

There was also resentment toward America on the belief that America was so full of scandal that it had no room to point fingers, the result in part of America's free press.

The consequence in Egypt was a refrain familiar throughout the East and Far East, an imploration for help while simultaneously asking to be left alone once the aid would be extended.

Stewart Alsop, in Chicago, discusses the campaign for the Senate of former Congressman Everett Dirksen, seeking to unseat the Democratic Majority Leader Scott Lucas. He was confident that he would win—as he would. He said that the people were dissatisfied and frustrated. A speech Mr. Dirksen had delivered in suburban Oak Park the previous Sunday was an example of how he was going about exploiting those feelings. He had said that his old friend, Carl Vinson, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, had suggested that spending, high taxes, and the draft would continue indefinitely. Mr. Dirksen found that the President had accused the Republicans of "pitch-forking the farmer", but that at least they had not pitch-forked the young men, that they had not grabbed 19-year olds and sent them into battle against Communism while simultaneously paying high salaries to Communists in the Government. He concluded that the Administration practices were leading down the road to disaster.

He also now asserted that aid to Europe, for which he had fought in the 80th Congress, was throwing money down the drain.

His critics claimed that his resurgent isolationism came from a conversation with a chief exponent of isolationism, Col. Robert McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune, so that he could achieve the nomination by obtaining Col. McCormick's approbation. The Chicago Sun-Times had found that he had changed his tune on policy 63 times during his Congressional career, usually switching to the popular side of issues.

Mr. Alsop finds that the Republicans in Illinois were falling into the old error of singing to the choir only, when the undecided voters would determine the outcome. The audience of Mr. Dirksen at Oak Park was comprised of older, already convinced Republicans, similar to the audiences at all of the GOP rallies which Mr. Alsop had attended in the Midwest.

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